This morning, I was on the métro and I couldn’t help but notice the eclectic mix of people. There was an adorable Jewish child, wearing glasses and an Orthodox hat, a dark coat, and a look of confusion on his face due to the train’s refusal to move. There were ladies in skirts and weirdly-toed stilettos, and greying men wearing dignity. Despite the fact that we all saw the same thing – that the train wasn’t working – it wouldn’t run for any of us.
It was then that I heard a man start strumming a guitar, making a pattern I couldn’t hear. In that moment, I was reminded of a dream I had once had of a language of spontaneous irregular spirals. It made me wonder how there could be room for a guitar in such a situation.
I thought back to when my vision started to blur at age six. I thought I was effecting this change deliberately, and I still wonder why I would have done that – pushing mentally at my eyes as they worsened. Maybe they hadn’t seen right, and I was asking them to see more, not less.
When I was in my thirties, my retina detached and I began to see street lamps as crooked. We didn’t have any money then, so I wasn’t examined for three weeks. Waiting for the street lamps to straighten up, why not? After the surgery in the hospital, I gathered my wits to go on seeing. With a worsened left eye, I still find street lamps crooked.
I don’t know what’s really out there, and I’m still working on how to see. I’m tired of having separate senses though, or of the idea of senses. As I rode the métro, listening to the guitar strumming away, I realized that maybe it’s not about seeing or hearing or feeling – it’s about joining with what you see and hearing and feeling.
Maybe that’s why the métro was so slow – it was giving us all time to join with what we saw and heard and felt.